NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Meet the commitment-phobic consumer: along with e-sports, Easter eggs, and the Peter Pan market, Mindshare North America's annual Culture Vulture Trends report is here, unveiling the latest consumer shifts and cultural trends forecast to grow over the next year.
Mindshare NA, the global media agency network that is part of WPP, uses a proprietary research approach for Culture Vulture, which includes a survey of 2,000 North American consumers. Now in its fifth year, the annual report does a deep dive into behavioral trends and insights—spanning demographic shifts, media consumption, sociological insights, and much more – including the role for brands. Culture Vulture is led by Mindshare NA's Insights group, dedicated to uncovering and leveraging consumer insights for clients and teams across North America.
The full 2016 report, which features marketing implications and recommendations, can be found here: http://www.mindshareintheloop.com/home/2016/1/25/culture-vulture-2016-trends-report-1
A top-line overview of this year's top 10 trends and insights are below.
I. Uncommitted: Say hello to the commitment-phobic consumer. As consumers' approach to risk continues to shift, there's an increasing demand for solutions that help them stay uncommitted, such as leasing and trying before you buy – whether it's a new home, your cell phone (67% of consumers agree that "being trapped in a 2-year contract is annoying")1 or even wedding rings.
II. The New Sports: The kids don't play the old sports anymore - basketball, football, and baseball have all seen drops among teens. But E-Sports are taking off, online (think Twitch and YouTube Gaming) and in-person – the number of paid e-sports tournaments in the U.S. rose from 46 in 2000 to 2,934 in 2015.2 Tens of thousands of fans are packing venues like Madison Square Garden to watch gamers compete.
III. ME-dia: The stuff we share says more about us than the stuff we wear (or drive, or buy). Nearly half (47%) of consumers say they're best represented by what they post on social media, and only 30% say their fashion style represents who they are.3 People are also increasingly using television and movie content in emojis or GIFs in their digital conversations. Culture is becoming language, and content is the new "stuff."
IV. Peter Pan Market: Adulting is hard, and millennials are feeling the stress. The desire to escape the worries of everyday life (and an underlying resistance to "growing up") has helped drive an explosion in adult coloring books – the top 10 sold over 1.5 million copies this year combined.4 There's also adult summer camps, a "Need A Mom" service in New York, and of course, the growth of the "adulting" meme.
V. Hidden Culture: Fifty-eight percent of consumers say they "prefer unique versus mass produced goods," up from 45% in 2013.5 To drive brand uniqueness and love, companies are increasingly using hidden "Easter eggs." Not only in movies and video games, but in products like cars, clothing, and beverages – for instance, FFF has hidden poems in their t-shirt labels. The discovery, inside knowledge, and ability to share hidden features on social appeals to people's desire for uniqueness.
VI. First World Pains, First World Pleasures: The small irritations that come with modern living can make or break your day, whether it's a dying smartphone battery or a lack of storage space when you're trying to snap that perfect photo. But these are also balanced out by small pleasures, and brands can help drive these moments of joy – from a message on a coffee cup to an outlet right when you need it.
VII. Accelerated Empathy: Our circles of empathy are growing wider, and the unofficial theme is "inclusion" with broken taboos and greater support around the LGBTQ community, mental health, body image, and even pets (a new law lets people dine at restaurants with their dogs). And now with the change of a Facebook filter, we can communicate collective empathy at speed, like with the Paris terror attacks.
VIII. Content Hacking: Consumers have more control over content than ever before. Not only are they swiping away the stuff they don't want see, they're also changing it. Witness the "K Blocker," which purges all Kardashian references from your iPhone, or the Chrome extension that changes every web reference of "Millennial" to "Snake People." The same trend is also at play with ad blocking.
IX. The Passive Massive: People are lazy—and that's reflected in our passive consumption of media. There's been some declines, but Americans' favorite past-time is still watching TV (five and a half hours per day in 2015).6 Eighty percent of millennials engage in some form of binge watching, sitting down for an average maximum 8 shows in one sitting.7 To reach the passive, indifferent consumer, now more than ever brands must find and insert themselves into moments of receptivity.
X. 21st Century Motherhood: Nearly half (46%) of millennial women now have kids,8 and they're ushering in their own take on motherhood. Fifty-seven percent of millennial moms say that "adventure" is very important to their lives - up from 49% in 2005.9 And "happiness" and "passion" rate higher as millennial mom values versus Generation X. For some, those values - the freedom - mean rejecting the "soccer mom" identity, while for others it's the opposite. But nearly all of them are sharing on social (for example: 92% share family milestones on Facebook).10
Culture Vulture is Mindshare's global cultural trends program that sets out to identify macro and micro trends that impact the marketing and communications strategies of the agency's clients. The North American version utilizes a Mindshare proprietary survey, Mindshare's proprietary network of leading edge consumers in cities across North America, and third party resources (including government data, syndicated sources and behavioral data).
For more consumer trends and insights throughout the year, check out Mindshare NA's accompanying Culture Vulture video series.
Mindshare is a global media agency network with billings in excess of US$34.5 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of more than 7,000 employees, in 116 offices across 86 countries spread throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Each office is dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands based on the values of speed, teamwork and provocation. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP, the world's leading communications services group. Visit us at Mindshareusa.com or MindshareInTheLoop.com and follow us on Twitter @Mindshare_NA and facebook.com/MindshareNA.
GroupM is the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, and Essence, as well as the programmatic digital media platform, Xaxis, each global operations in their own right with leading market positions. GroupM's primary purpose is to maximize performance of WPP's media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. GroupM's focus is to deliver unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people.
1 Chetan Sharma Consulting, via Statista
2 Huffington Post, eSports Earnings
4 Publishers Weekly
Associate Director, Corporate Communications
Mindshare North America
SOURCE Mindshare North America